Select Your Field
Choose fields for cotton planting carefully. A field’s cropping history is important. Cotton planted
in fields infested with cotton pests or in fields with poor nutrient balance will suffer yield loss.
in mind the crops surrounding your cotton fields. Do they harbor pests of cotton such as whitefly or lygus? Carefully
planned cultural practices in adjacent crops can help you reduce pest pressures in cotton. Use the checklists below
when selecting fields for cotton planting.
Check soil records or perform soil assays for:
- Nutrients. Assay for nitrogen and phosphorous content annually.
- Soil type. Identify soil type. Clay loam to loam soils are generally the most productive soils in the San Joaquin
Valley. Sandier soils usually have higher root knot nematode populations.
- Root knot nematodes. Assay for nematodes before planting cotton directly after another crop. See details in
Integrated Pest Management for Cotton, Publication 3305.
Check records for:
- Agronomic information. Determine past cotton varieties that have been planted and their planting and harvest dates and yields.
See if the field has supported successful production.
- Weeds. Survey winter annual weeds in the spring
before planting. This is crucial for the selecting an appropriate preplant herbicide or rotational crop.
- Cropping history. Identify previous crops that are known hosts of cotton pests.
- Surrounding crops. Check for cultivated crops such as alfalfa, safflower, sugarbeet, potato, and sunflower;
all harbor lygus bugs.
- Presence of pests such as: